MINNEAPOLIS—KBS REIT II, Inc. recently agreedto sell 601 Tower at Carlson Center in suburban Minnetonka toArtis REIT for $75 million, according to adocument filed yesterday with the US Securities andExchange Commission. KBS originally purchased the288,458-square-foot property in 2011 for $54 million. Manysignificant office properties in the Twin Cities have changed handsin the past year, and this latest profitable sale underlines againhow attractive investors now find the metro area's officemarket.

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According to the 8-K form it filed with theSEC, the Newport Beach, CA-based KBS entered into a purchase andsale agreement on April 28 with Artis US Holdings IILP, the wholly-owned subsidiary of the Canada-based Artis.The 15-story tower sits on about 2.3 acres of land and formsone-half of the two-tower Carlson Center. Theother tower is not part of the sale.

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The companies' officials could not comment because the sale hasnot yet closed. But Artis officials did say in a prepared statementthat 601 Tower is now “over 99% occupied, with 40% of the assetleased to credit tenants, including Wells FargoAdvisors, RBC Capital Markets,OneBeacon Services, LLC, and HQ GlobalWorkplaces.”

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Six of the Minneapolis' major office towers traded hands in thepast year, with a total of more than 3.4-million-square-feet, apace not seen since before the recession. During 2013, for example,Florida-based Beacon Investment Properties LLCbought the iconic IDS Center for $253 million.Other major sales include the Oracle Centre, a20-story building at 900 Second Avenue South, which was sold to ajoint venture between Investcorp International andWildamere Properties, and the 40-story RBCPlaza.

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Brian J. Rogal

Brian J. Rogal is a Chicago-based freelance writer with years of experience as an investigative reporter and editor, most notably at The Chicago Reporter, where he concentrated on housing issues. He also has written extensively on alternative energy and the payments card industry for national trade publications.